News

Obama: Pakistan Review of Ties Should Respect US Security Needs

Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama smile during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, March 27, 2012.
Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama smile during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, March 27, 2012.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he hopes that Pakistan's review of its ties with the United States will be balanced and respect not only Pakistan's sovereignty but also U.S. security needs.

Mr. Obama spoke to reporters Tuesday shortly before holding private talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.  The two leaders met on the sidelines of an international nuclear summit in Seoul.

The meeting came amid a breakdown in relations between Pakistan and the United States following the U.S. military raid that killed Osama bin Laden in northern Pakistan last May and the mistaken killing of 24 Pakistani troops during a NATO strike last November along the Afghan border.

U.S.-Pakistani relations since November:

  • November - Immediately following the border strike, Pakistan shuts down NATO's two main Pakistani supply routes into Afghanistan and orders U.S. personnel to evacuate an air base.
  • December 24 - Media reports surface that the Central Intelligence Agency temporarily suspended drone strikes targeting low-ranking militants in Pakistan to mend relations.
  • January 23 - Pakistan's military rejects a U.S. claim that American forces acted in self-defense and with appropriate force after being fired upon by Pakistani forces months earlier.
  • January 31 - President Barack Obama confirms that the United States uses drone strikes against militants in Pakistan. The Pakistani government calls the strikes "unlawful, counterproductive and hence unacceptable" despite their "tactical advantages."
  • February 23 - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with her Pakistani counterpart and calls for a resumption of formal contacts with Pakistan after Islamabad finishes its review of relations with Washington.
  • March 1 - U.S. lawmaker introduces a non-binding resolution in the U.S. Congress calling for Baluchistan's secession, provoking a furious reaction from Pakistani politicians and media.

President Obama told Mr. Gilani "there have been times, I think we should be frank, in the last several months where those relations have experienced strains."   

Mr. Gilani said Islamabad is committed to fighting against extremism and terrorism and wants stability and security in Afghanistan.  He said "if there is a stability and peace in Afghanistan, there will be a stability and peace in Pakistan and the whole region."

The two leaders said they wanted to work together to achieve that goal.

The deadly strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops prompted Islamabad to shut its ground supply lines to NATO forces in Afghanistan and re-evaluate its ties with the United States.  

On Tuesday, thousands of Islamist party members took to the streets of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, demanding Pakistan not reopen its Afghan border to U.S. and NATO supplies.

A White House deputy national security advisor (Ben Rhodes) said Tuesday's meeting "made important progress in both sides being able to hear directly from one another about what their views are."

Pakistan's parliament adjourned Tuesday for a second consecutive day without debating the proposed terms of engagement with the U.S.. Opposition parties are unhappy with some of the review's recommendations.

Meanwhile, some of the parties allied with the ruling coalition say the government should instead focus on domestic issues, such as the ongoing violence in the city of Karachi, before debating foreign policy.

Local officials say at least eight people were killed in Karachi on Tuesday when violence erupted following the killing of a political activist and his brother.  Protesters also set fire to more than 35 vehicles in Pakistan's economic hub.  The victims were members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Karachi has a long history of political, ethnic and sectarian violence.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mike
March 27, 2012 6:54 PM
As long as Obama's energy policy keeps the US dependent on foreign imported oil, we will be tied to the Pakistanis and their way of looking at the world. Their interests are not our interests but our "leadership" keeps saying that they are the same inspite of the Pakistanis saying and acting otherwise.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs